The Pakistan cement sector has maintained its healthy growth as its exports witnessed an increase of 60 per cent to 2.5Mt during the first quarter of the current fiscal year while local dispatches have scaled down by 15 per cent due to a slowdown in construction activities.
Industry sources said that although local producers are taking fully advantage of the cheap and easy availability of raw materials and exporting huge quantities of cement to regional countries, the decline in the local sales is posing a threat to the cement sector, which could also hurt profitability.
"Local sales are on the decline despite the price stability for the last few months and due to slow construction activities on the back of poor economic circumstances," they said.
All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) Secretary Shahzad Ahmed said the country’s cement exports has crossed 2Mt mark during the first quarter and reached 2.5Mt compared to 1.57Mt during the same period last year.
Cement exports during September 2008 increased 18 per cent to 0.89Mt compared to some 0.754Mt during September 2007. However, domestic sales have been gradually declining and during the first quarter overall local dispatches fell by 15.5 percent during the first quarter.
With current decline overall local dispatches stood at 4.8Mt during the first quarter of current fiscal year compared to 5.71Mt during the corresponding period last fiscal year.